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These Game Boy Advance Titles Absolutely Should Be Added to Nintendo Switch Online

With the arrival of Game Boy Advance games on the Nintendo Switch, there are plenty of fan-favorites we would love to see on the platform.



This past week, Nintendo revealed and launched two additional Nintendo Switch Online applications for subscribers of their dedicated online service. While standard Nintendo Switch Online owners now have access to Game Boy games, Expansion Pack users have been given a handful of Game Boy Advance titles to play. Nintendo fans already have so much to look forward to with titles such as Metroid Fusion, Golden Sun, Kirby & the Amazing Mirror coming to the catalog’s future, but there are dozens of other great titles that could still be brought over to the system. While it may represent just a snapshot of its incredible library, these are a handful of Game Boy Advance titles that Nintendo should absolutely add to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack in the future!

Game Boy Advance Nintendo Switch Online games coming in the future, mother 3, metroid: zero mission, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Wario Land 4, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Pokémon
Image: Nintendo

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

Kirby fans are currently living in one of the pink puff’s best periods to date. This past year, Kirby celebrated his 30th anniversary with two new games, live music concerts, and plenty of spectacular merchandise. Now to top off such a spectacular year, some of Dream Land’s greatest retro tales are being brought over to Switch Online.

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land is a complete remake of Kirby’s Adventure for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and it is without a single doubt the definitive version of Masahiro Sakurai’s second game in the franchise. Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land enhanced Kirby’s Adventure in every way possible as it polished over a game initially suffering from technical issues with a substantial modern glow-up. From its multiplayer functionality to its added mechanics and modes, Nightmare in Dream Land is one of Kirby’s best games to date.

Game Boy Advance Nintendo Switch Online games coming in the future, mother 3, metroid: zero mission, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Wario Land 4, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Pokémon
Image: Nintendo

Wario Land 4

Wario may not still claim the same spotlight he hailed during the early 2000s, but everyone who has played the Wario Land handheld games will be able to tell you that all of the platforming titles featuring the disgusting rival of Mario were endearing. Even if it may pale in comparison to its Game Boy predecessor which is already available on Nintendo Switch Online’s Game Boy app, Wario’s adventure to rescue Princess Shokora from the Golden Diva in Wario Land 4 still remain a strong conclusion for a series that was too short-lived.

With excellent platforming design, fun action moves, and impressively detailed visuals for a handheld system at the time, Wario’s 2D journey for treasure on the Game Boy Advance certainly gave Mario’s offerings a run for their money–if we at least compare it to the Super Mario Advance ports because Mario never had an original mainline game on the handheld!

Game Boy Advance Nintendo Switch Online games coming in the future, mother 3, metroid: zero mission, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Wario Land 4, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Pokémon
Image: Nintendo

Mario vs. Donkey Kong

From kart racing and golf to pinball and puzzles, Mario had many spin-offs on the Game Boy Advance. But not many held a candle to Mario vs. Donkey Kong, a spiritual successor to the Game Boy’s Donkey Kong game and the first entry in the puzzle platforming series that featured the minis, wind-up toy Mario figures that the iconic plumber must recollect after being looted by Donkey Kong. Unlike the other Mario vs. Donkey Kong entries, this has been the only game in the spinoff series thus far that actually allowed players to take control of Mario himself rather than his disposable miniature counterparts.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong feels fitting of the plumber’s many adventures as the game pays a heavy focus on the hero’s athleticism in favor of platform creation or sending toys off to march on a set path like the sequels. The game’s picture cutscenes certainly have not aged well–let’s be real here, none of the Game Boy Advance Mario spinoffs featuring this odd stylization choice have as they all look downright goofy–but the gameplay has held strong against the passage of time as it still offers the most entertaining levels and control style Mario vs. Donkey Kong has ever offered.

Metroid Zero Mission
Image: Nintendo

Metroid: Zero Mission

With the release of Metroid II: Return of Samus on Switch Online’s Game Boy collection and Metroid Fusion headed to the Game Boy Advance app later this year, the entire 2D Metroidvania side of the intergalactic action-adventure franchise has been made available on Nintendo’s hybrid system. While the original releases of Metroid for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Metroid II for the Game Boy may not be the definitive versions of each respective title, Nintendo still has the opportunity to bring the best iteration of Samus Aran’s first adventure to Switch with Metroid: Zero Mission.

Metroid: Zero Mission is a complete remake of the first Metroid game for the Nintendo Entertainment System and is arguably the best starting point of the franchise for newcomers. Like Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Zero Mission was more than just a facelift of the original Metroid game for the NES as it added quality-of-life features to its core experience to better help players venture through the depths of Planet Zebes and gameplay control elements that were first created for Super Metroid.

Image: The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

While bringing over the mainline Pokémon generations to Switch Online’s catalog could pose many complications, there is one spinoff on the Game Boy Advance that is currently not playable in any form on the Nintendo Switch Pokémon fans should at the very least dabble into once.

Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire may not be a masterpiece by any means or fill the needs of fans waiting for direct ports of the first three generations on Nintendo Switch, but it is an entertaining pass time that is strangely an admirable love letter to Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire. Developer Jupiter could have easily slapped together a lazy Pinball game with Pokémon elements, but Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire explores the Hoenn region and its many species in interesting ways that help flesh out a simple gameplay experience.

Game Boy Advance Nintendo Switch Online games coming in the future, mother 3, metroid: zero mission, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Wario Land 4, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Pokémon
Image: Nintendo

Mother 3

Reggie may be living it up in retirement presenting to colleges, running award shows, and writing business memoir books, but Nintendo will never be free from the shadow Mother 3 fans and believers have long cast upon the company. If Nintendo can localize retro classics like Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light for the Switch, then surely their most requested game stuck in Japan can make it over too, right? Besides, we already got EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound on Nintendo Switch Online. Why not finish up the trilogy and never be bothered by this request again… until we start begging for remakes of the Mother games, of course…

Creative writer, NXpress Host, and Games Editor. I have always held a high interest in the fields of professional writing and communications. You can find me with my head deep in the espionage genre or in a kayak upstream. I’ll always be first in line for the next Hideo Kojima or Masahiro Sakurai game.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Muhammad

    February 15, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    The Kirby entry is cut off.

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